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15 Oct 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. From 1 Jan 06 to 30 Sep 10, 1,499 personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,885 were aeromedically evacuated. (DASA, 15 Oct 10.) From 16 to 30 Sep 10 the figures were 14 and 99.
16 Air Assault Brigade formally took over as lead formation of Task Force Helmand from 4 Mechanised Brigade on 10 Oct 10, marking the start of OP HERRICK 13. The new Brigade will be working “towards the objective of beginning the handover of security responsibilities to Afghan Forces during 2011”. (MoD, 11 Oct 10.)
UK Forces train the Afghan National Army and Police using the most appropriate language, usually Dari or Pashto, with the aid of an interpreter. (Ministerial Answer, 11 Oct 10.)
While the UK’s Force level remains at 9,500 personnel, an increased number are to be directly involved in the institutional training and development of the Afghan National Security Forces. (Defence Secretary, 14 Oct 10.)
Comment: US General D Petraeus called on the Prime Minister on 14 Oct 10. The General was said to have updated the Prime Minister on progress in Afghanistan, saying that “Operations in Kandahar and Helmand Provinces were proceeding well”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/40, 18 Oct 10)
15 Oct 10. Second AW159 Lynx Wildcat Makes Its First Flight. AgustaWestland announced that the second AW159 multi-role military helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility yesterday. During its maiden flight a range of general handling checks were completed and it performed as expected. The aircraft, designated TI2, is the second of three test aircraft that will complete a 600 hour integrated flight test programme. The third aircraft, TI3, is scheduled to join the flight test programme in late October 2010.
Aircraft TI1 continues to perform air vehicle and flight envelope testing while TI2 will undertake the flight testing of the aircraft’s core and mission avionics systems, the systems and software having already been developed and tested on AgustaWestland’s Full Systems Integration Rig (FSIR). TI3’s main task include undertaking load survey trials and naval development, including ship helicopter operating limit trials. AgustaWestland has now also established a new AW159 production facility at its Yeovil plant that introduces a pulse line production system to bring significant efficiencies to the final assembly process. The first production airframe was delivered to AgustaWestland by GKN Aerospace on schedule in July 2010. The first flight of the second AW159, known as Lynx Wildcat in UK military service, marks another major milestone in the development of this new six-ton multi-role military helicopter, 62 of which have been ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence. The first aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2011 with the aircraft becoming fully operational with the Army in 2014 and the Royal Navy in 2015.
15 Oct 10. UK aircraft carriers will have no British fighter jets to fly off them for up to eight years, under a proposal that David Cameron is likely to approve amid high tensions in the closing hours of the defence